The First three weeks

Last week was my third week of teaching – well, long term subbing. It has been quite an adventure. For those of you who don’t know, I have taken over a position at a high school in Cherokee County as a ninth grade English teacher. The kids I am working with are resource students which is a step above special education. These last few weeks have been an exhausting adventure.

As an education student I took a diversity class where the desire to work with students nobody else wanted to work with was born. I never knew how daunting this task would be. During this diversity class I ask my teacher, “what do I do if the parents just don’t care about their kids?” “Jessica, this is a stereotype, it will be rare to find a parent who just doesn’t care.” LIAR! These parents just don’t care. I made a parent phone call last week to tell a parent about how their kid was missing an assignment. This is the conversation: Jess: “Hi, {insert name}. This is Jessica Sykes. I am {insert name’s} English teacher. First, I wanted to let you know what a sweet kid {insert kid} is. I really enjoy him in my class (and he really is the sweetest kid).” Parent: “OK.” Jess: “Uhhh, well he is missing a few assignments and I am going to give him an oppurtunity to make it up. I just wanted to see if you could encourage him to get it done this evening.” Parent: “OK.” End of conversation.AWKWARD! The next parent call I made the parent did not own a phone.

Needless to say, I didn’t even know that things like this happened. No amount of classes could have prepared me for this. These kids are sweet, but difficult. They have had three different Literature teachers this year and have not been prepared for 10th. So, in the next 10 weeks I have to teach a research unit, a non-fiction unit, a persuasion unit, and prepare them for a writing test.

Nothing but the sweet Lord could allow this to happen, but when in doubt – love. I enter this classroom every morning hoping to show these kids love they don’t see at home or have seen in previous teachers. I don’t know if I am worthy to be looked up to, but if this is all they got then dang it I will take on the challenge. Here’s to love. Please remember me every morning at 8:36 when my first student enters my classroom.

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